With apologies to Bob Dylan, have you ever felt like you were stuck in PowerPoint prison with the presentation blues again?* Most us have seen the overabundance of slides, with 9 point type, variable mix of fonts, sound effects and motivational video clips to fly like an eagle?
Then again, for every 100 misuses of PowerPoint, there is that one person who understands their audience and is all about conveying their PowerPoint message in a clear, concise and compelling manner. These presentation warriors in the old days (post Kodak Carousel slide tray era) used to trudge through airports carrying the heavy laptop bag, a projector with a box of promotional catalogs and suitcase of wrinkled clothes. Upon arrival, it?s no surprise that these presentation warriors find out that the venue has a 13? TV and a VCR that eats tapes at their ready disposal. And the venue went the extra mile to tape to the wall a 4 by 10 foot presentation screen made up of white trash bags.
Oh my, times have changed over the past six months (your experience may vary!) There are resources on the web to build a great presentation ? such as Garr Reynolds?s Presentation Zen and the cool techno gear to show your passion and connect with your audience.
MobileEdge has produced a accessory line of credit card remote controls for the express purpose of controlling your PC remotely for flexibility and mobility with the Slim-Line Presenter PLUS.
Range: Approx. 100 feet (30 meters)
Dimensions: 3.4″ x 2.1″ x 0.2″ (86mm x 54mm x 5mm)
Weight: 0.8 oz (23 grams) with receiver & battery
Frequency Range: 2.4GHz
Laser: Semiconductor laser, 0.95mW max
Power: CR2032 battery (1)
Interface: USB port
Dimensions: 1.9″ x 0.6″ x 0.1″ (49mm x 16mm x 3.5mm)
Weight: 4 grams
One of the best pieces of advice that Garr Reynolds gives is moving away from the podium.
?Get closer to your audience by moving away from or in front of the podium. The podium is a barrier between you and the audience, but the goal of our presentation is to connect with the audience. Removing physical barriers between you and the audience will help you build rapport and make a connection.?
Wise advice indeed! Many speakers are fixated behind the laptop to tap on the spacebar to advance the next slide or relying on a second person to advance the slides (which is distracting) or cue a video clip.
With the Slim-Line Presenter PLUS, features include the ability to wirelessly control PowerPoint, Windows Media Player 10 and earlier, WinDVD and iTunes for Windows from up to 100 ft. away.
Being able to ?work? the floor within a circle of 100 feet away focuses the attention on the messaging rather than the mechanics of the presentation.
The manual is pretty simple and is just a front and back sheet because the remote is pretty intutive.
What I like about the Presenter PLUS is the compactness as it is designed to fit in the PC slot of your laptop.
The battery and RF receiver is built in and self-contained on the backside. There is no software to preload; just insert the battery, remove the RF receiver and plug into an available USB port.
The Slim-Line Presenter PLUS advanced RF Technology eliminates the need to aim at the computer with the USB Plug and Play receiver. Just remember to retrieve it when done, otherwise?
The buttons have the tactile feel of the old styled raised credit card size calculators. Made of hard plastic, the remote feels durable and didn?t feel intrusive in my hand due to its slimness. Also, I can tuck the remote away in my shirt pocket when I need both hands free without having to make a mental note where I last laid the remote down.
The buttons are grouped together by its designated function.
At the bottom is the MODE setting. Press the button and in the pictured white circle to the right, the no light (Windows Media Player), orange (WinDVD), green (iTunes ? Windows) or orange and green (PowerPoint) will indicate which program / mode is selected.
The program(s) have to be opened first.
The buttons in the lower grouping control PowerPoint; I really like the white and black buttons rather than hitting a B or PERIOD to display a black screen, or return to the slide show from a black screen, or a W or COMMA to display a white screen, or return to the slide show from a white screen. Using this function on the remote (1) keeps the audience’s attention on you and the message and (2) not shackled to the laptop.
The integrated laser pointer is bright red and projects very well in a lighted room from a tested forty feet away. As a safety feature, the laser pointer only works while in PowerPoint mode.
The other controls are self explanatory with the other programs such as changing the volume, mute, rewind, play/pause/stop, navigate a Menu, find chapters/titles of DVDs, Full Screen view, etc.
The beauty of mixing these different mediums is setting the stage for a successful presentation. If you?re serious about making a good first impression (you have only one chance at it!), imagine having iTunes or Windows Media playing your music playlist softly while you?re meeting and greeting your audience members as they enter the room. Next, the PowerPoint presentation starts and you?re able to walk around telling the story and making eye contact rather than being anchored to the podium or laptop. Next, there?s a DVD clip to share. The presentation ends with a Q & A session with a soft music playing in the background.
With the Slim-Line Presenter PLUS, this scenario is possible! (Windows only) If you?re serious about improving your presentation skill sets, this remote control gives you the technical functionality to do so. Highly recommended.
There are various models available directly from Mobile Edge:
The PC Media Remote (model #MEAP03) has an SRP of $59.99.
The Slim-Line Presentation Remote (MEAP01) has an SRP of $79.99
(Reviewed) The Slim-Line Presenter PLUS (MEAP02) has an SRP of $99.99.
What I Like: Compactness to fit in a PC slot; tool to improve presentation skills, broad coverage
What Needs Improvement: A Mac version
Oh, Mama, it really can be the end,
Not to be stuck inside PowerPoint prison
With the presentation blues again. *
* ?Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again? by Bob Dylan Copyright ? 1966; renewed 1994 Dwarf Music